What is calcium?
The periodic table describes the various elements. Each element has many properties that are used in manufacturing, medicine and everyday life. Among other elements is calcium, which plays a huge role in our lives. However, not everyone understands what calcium is.
Let's take a closer look at all these questions.
Calcium chemical element
In the periodic table, calcium is indicated by the icon “Ca” and is located in the main subgroup of the second group of the fourth period of the table. Calcium is a soft, silvery-white metal that is chemically active.
The name calcium comes from the Latin language. The name in Latin means "lime, soft stone." Calcium became known in 1808, when the English chemist Humphrey Davy isolated this substance.
Where Calcium is Found
Calcium is not found in its free form in nature due to its chemical activity. In nature, you can find only compounds containing calcium:
- In the form of isotopes, of which there are only six in nature. The sixth isotope of calcium is less stable and very rare.
- In minerals and rocks. Most often, calcium is found in the composition of the calcite mineral (lime, chalk) or crystalline calcite, which is called marble.
- In water. Calcium and magnesium in water determine the hardness of the water.
- In the earth's crust. Calcium migrates and accumulates in various places because of its chemical activity. Calcium forms 385 minerals, ranking fourth among the elements by the number of formed minerals.
- In the biosphere. A sufficiently large amount of calcium is always present in the organisms of living beings and plays a significant role in the regulation of vital activity. Calcium is present in bones, shells, eggshell, shells, etc.
As can be seen, calcium is an important element in our life. Let us consider its properties in more detail.
In industry often use exactly the chemical properties of calcium:
- Calcium combines easily and interacts with oxygen, carbon dioxide and moist air. That is why calcium in the laboratory is stored in a closed box under a layer of kerosene or paraffin to avoid interaction with the environment and material damage.
- Calcium actively interacts with water, with active non-metals.
- Calcium interacts with less active elements of non-metallic origin only when heated. Moreover, if such a compound is placed in water, then it disintegrates. Therefore, giant empty cavities are often formed under the earth's crust.
- If calcium bicarbonate is present in water, then when water is boiled it decomposes and a precipitate appears, which we call scum.
Where calcium is used
Based on these properties, calcium is used:
- In industry for the production of pure metals due to the reduction reaction. Calcium is also used to produce hard metals such as chromium, uranium and thorium.
- In electronics, where the alloy of calcium with lead is used in batteries.
- Calcium is excellent for obtaining new elements of the periodic table due to its heavy isotope, which is very stable.
- Calcium is in the skeleton and teeth, so without it, these biological structures become brittle and collapse. Therefore, calcium is used in medicine and food industry to create special tablets containing small doses of calcium, which can be absorbed by the body.In addition, calcium regulates many other functions of the body and plays a huge role in life.
But all this would have been impossible if calcium could not be obtained in its pure form.
How to get calcium
Calcium is produced in the industry in two ways:
- By electrolysis of a melt of CaCl2 (75-80%) and KCl or CaCl2 and CaF2.
- Restoration of CaO at a temperature of about 2000 degrees Celsius.
In the future, the resulting calcium can be subjected to various treatments to be used in industry, medicine, etc.